I thought I might share another great tip that helps me when sewing doll clothes patterns and you may find that you can adapt this tip to use for your everyday sewing too.
As I have soooo many doll clothes patterns, just like we all do, I have found the best way for me to keep them all organized is to have a display folder for each doll size. In these folders are plastic sleeves and I store one pattern per sleeve labeling the top right hand corner with the name of the pattern. I have little sticky labels now that I stick on and write the name of the pattern on but in the past I have just used a Texta to write directly onto the plastic sleeve.
Now that my patterns have the picture of the outfit on the instructions page, put this page on the top and you will have both a written description and a visual picture of what the pattern is and won’t even need to write on the plastic sleeve so you can rearrange the patterns easily at any time.
You may find that you have so many patterns that you need a separate folder for ‘Tops’ and one for ‘Bottoms’ or one for ‘Summer’ and one for ‘Winter’. Having a different color folder for each size doll or type of pattern also makes it really easy to identify and access your patterns quickly.
It really doesn’t matter how you decide to categorize them, but using the display book and labeling each pages helps so much when looking for your patterns.
Oh Rosie, thank you for letting me know about storing my patterns. I have some in a clear containers, some in a wicker basket, and other places. I can never find what I am looking for. You just made my night and I can’t wait to get to Walmart tomorrow. Question: Do you put all the instruction sheets in separate sheets following the patterns? If so, just that one pattern would take up alot of pages. I would like to know before I go shopping. How many patterns do you average in one book? Wondering how many books to buy. 🙂 Oh, I am just so excited. I feel I have gotten the most uniquie patterns and ideas from you and all the way from Austrailia! Let me know when it is convenient for you. Have a good night, Judy Jewison
Hi Judy, It is great to hear that I have been able to help you get your patterns organized. I usually put all the pattern pieces together with the instructions in the one plastic sleeve and each one of the folders that I have has about 20 plastic sleeves so can hold 20 patterns. I have different colored display books for each different size doll and 2 – 3 books per doll size. I label the spine with the size doll and what is in it eg. 18″ Bedtime / Winter so once you have decided how to categorize your patterns just label the spine. Good luck!
Hello Rosie. This is a wonderful idea, and one I’ve used for a long time. I also knit and crochet and have folders for those downloaded patterns too. I have separate ones for American Girl clothes and one for Barbie. When I want something specific, all I have to do is go to the correct binder that has a lable on the spine. I know that many of your followers will love this fantastic idea. I know that I do. Happy sewing!
Hi Ann, Thanks for letting me know that you also use this system for keeping your patterns organized. I would be so lost without these folders. Could you please let my other American friends know where you get your folders from?
Hi, could you be more specific about these folders? I shop online mostly because when I go into stores they seldom have what I am looking for. Online I do much better and save on gas. I did a search for display folder, I found nothing like what you show here. Help!
Hi Denise, In Australia we can get these plastic display books at Stationery stores, variety stores and the stationery section of our local supermarket and they are really very cheap.
I use binders like used in our schools. I bought plastic cover sheets in stationary at wal mart
Thanks ever so much!
I have previouslypurchased your how to sew dolls course and sadly at that time there was no picture with the patterns. Is it possible to get a copy of them now? And by the way the folders are a great idea, I also do that.
Thank you Maureen.
Hi Maureen, Yes you can certainly reprint your pattern instructions with the pictures on them. Simply log in, select the pattern/s you wish to reprint from the left hand menu and click on ‘Steps to complete your outfit’. A new page will appear with the links to the PDF pattern pieces and PDF instructions. Click on the PDF Pattern instructions link to download them again. Save them to your computer and print them out. You will not have to download the pattern pieces again as these have not changed. Happy Sewing, Rosie.
I’ve just started making doll cloths for my granddaughter. Thank you so very much for the all the “tips”. Especially how to care for my patterns and keep them organized. I never thought of copying or making templates of the original pattern piece. Wow! you are some kind of wonderful. Great advice. Thank you again.
My pleasure Kay 🙂
I have a related suggestion for doll clothes seamstresses in the U.S. I use 3-ring binders and obtain clear plastic sleeves from WalMart to categorize patterns.
I copy the front of the pattern and put the fabric requirement page on the other side. Then, inside the next clear sleeve, place the cut out pattern pieces and instruction sheets.
In front of the binder I have an inventory sheet–in alphabetical order- -of all the patterns in the binder. (I keep this document in my computer files, as well, to update as I add patterns)
This way I keep everything together, can update easily, and use the plastic sleeves, unmarked. Binder dividers can be used to categorize too. In addition, you can use post-it tabs on the sleeves to locate various patterns in the book if desired.
As I work on projects, I keep outfit components together in gallon size zip-lock bags. This helps when doing multiple projects at a time and decreases the loss of pattern pieces.
When projects are complete, I return the patterns and instructions to their place in the binder.
Hope this helps. It works for me.
Hi Lynn, thanks so much for taking the time to share with us how you keep your patterns and outfit components organised. Happy sewing, Rosie 🙂
I use the same organizing technique as Lynn Gibbs, but use a medium sized lined basket for in-progress sewing pieces and pattern being used. Will be saving to computer file also for updating, as this was a great idea. Had not thought of alphabetical order though, just put mine in categories. Wow, so many new ideas and things to think about, I will have to reread the replies slowly a few times, take notes and put to practice all the wonderful tips. Thank you all.
I just use 3 ring binders, 3-4 inches in width and sheet protectors. I put the instruction sheet with pic on top and the pattern behind it. You can fit tons of patterns in the binders!